AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Three POST certified criminal justice technology students were awarded the Smarr-Smith scholarship recently.
The three students will be officially recognized at South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Law Enforcement Academy Class 20–02 graduation ceremony scheduled for December.
Amneh Laursen of Albany, Timothy Chris Owens of Leesburg, and Monteze Edward McCall of Bainbridge were each selected to get the Smarr-Smith scholarships from the South Georgia Technical College Foundation.
The Smarr-Smith endowed scholarships at South Georgia Technical College were created in memory of fallen Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr and Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Safety Officer Jody Smith, who both attended the criminal justice program at SGTC.
Laursen is a patrol lieutenant with the Camilla Police Department. She has been employed with that organization since December 25, 2015 and worked her way up from a patrol officer because of her dedication, hard work and fantastic attitude, according to her agency.
“I am so appreciative to the Smarr-Smith families for the opportunity to compete for this scholarship,” said Laursen. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve my community and I believe that finishing my degree will help me to be a better officer and it will also help me to help our community.”
Owens is a member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and he is also a certified school safety specialist, senior instructor and director of training and special operations.
“Thank you for allowing me to apply for this scholarship,” Owens, also a colonel, said. “The creation of this scholarship, though it was because of a tragedy, has a meaningful purpose for students. I am a non-traditional student and I am so appreciative of the opportunity to come back and finish my associate degree.”
McCall worked with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office for three years before he enrolled in the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy and came back to finish up his criminal justice associate degree.
“Deputy McCall has been an exemplary law enforcement officer for the past three years. He left to attend the police academy on his own without pay. We rehired Deputy McCall because of his community spirit, dedication, and professionalism,” said Maj. Wendell Cofer, chief deputy sheriff of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.
Eleven Smarr-Smith scholarships now have been awarded since the scholarships were endowed. Charles Kinnamon and Adam O’Neal were the first two scholarship recipients. King W. Mitchell, Antoinette L. Johnson and Emerson R. Lundy were the second three recipients. Dalton Lee Windham and Cora K. Baker were awarded the scholarships in December 2018. Brandon Glover was the Smarr-Smith scholar in 2019.
For more information about making a donation to the SGTC Foundation or endowing a scholarship, call (229) 931-2110 or send an email. Contributions may also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA.